by Chris McCormack ’18
The Conference Tournaments have officially ended, which means it is now time for the greatest sporting event of the year. NCAA March Madness holds a special place in my heart, especially when our own school is competing.
The field has a lot of strong teams as well as many teams that can make a few surprises. The top four seeds are the University of Virginia from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East’s Villanova University and Xavier University and the University of Kansas out of the Big 12. All hold the capability of making a run but also will face tough competition with the two and three seeds.
However, the team with the best chance to win is the number one overall Virginia Cavaliers. They are coming into the tournament with only two losses and only one coming in arguably the best conference in the nation. They have gone 5-0 against the two seeds from the ACC, Duke and the University of North Carolina. Both teams also have solid title chances but the fact that the Virginia Cavaliers have been able to handle the strength of these teams with ease is the number one reason I think they are going to make a run at it all.
That said, however, no run at the championship ever comes easy and this is no exception. In their bracket they have a tough Cincinnati team at the two seed that they could possibly meet in the Elite Eight. Before that, they may have to play either University of Arizona or University of Kentucky.
Arizona has the best player in the NCAA with DeAndre Ayton who is projected to be the number one pick in the NBA draft. Kentucky is always a dangerous team in the tournament and riding a hot streak from the end of the regular season that ultimately ended with them winning the SEC Tournament.
Both teams could provide trouble for the Cavaliers but I think they will ultimately prevail as they are the best defensive team in the country. They have a way of controlling the pace of play in all their games that has caused teams issues all season. Another team that could be a surprise Cinderella story in Virginia’s bracket are the University of Nevada Wolf Pack.
The Wolf Pack come from the Mountain West Conference and have been in and out of the top 25 all season. They are the seventh seed in this bracket, but many experts think they deserve higher than that. It would be a very tough road for them as they would likely play Cincinnati in their second game, but if they are able to pull off the upset and meet Virginia in the Elite Eight then anything could happen.
However, as I said before any team that is going to win this tournament is going to have a tough go and for that reason I think Virginia is the most fit to do so. They have great experience and as people have said for decades, defense wins championships.